Elvis Presley Elvis Presley #1 Hit Performances

Geared to Elvis rookies, this compilation of previously available performances is both fluid and mystifying. Free of context, Presley’s earliest television appearances don’t seem particularly revolutionary. No explanation is provided as to why he’s shot from the waist up for versions of "Don’t Be Cruel” and "Heartbreak Hotel” when in fact, Presley was the first pop culture pariah, eliciting network censorship and moral outrage. That is interesting. Alternating between live performances and musical sequences from films like Jailhouse Rock and Girls! Girls! Girls! really isn’t. Glimpses at the ’68 Comeback Special make it seem more stilted and corny with each passing year but the full-on jumpsuit stage shows of the ’70s are well-represented by a manic take on "Suspicious Minds” from Elvis, That’s the Way it Is and "Burning Love” from Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii. Though the slapdash nature of this ahistorical collection is further exemplified by the inclusion of needlessly truncated versions of illuminating press conferences, its musical contents provide a blueprint for rock’n’roll. Plus: March 1960 Press Conference; June 1972 Press Conference. (Sony BMG)